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Old 09-01-2010, 06:53 AM   #136
natebenma
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Originally Posted by TwiddleDeeTwiddleDum View Post
Way to go Grace


You didn't ADORE fantasmic I love it because I've not seen anything like it with the water screens, I have to see it every trip Again, your pic's are sooooo much better than mine. You have a real talent for snapping such great photos

YOU should be a photo pass CM
You know, I think we all would have enjoyed Fantasmic a lot more if it was a lot earlier. I enjoyed it the most out of everyone in the family, but I could see the boys and my DH shutting down during the show. It had been another long day, followed by about an hour long wait in the hot and crowded theater. We need to go to Disney sometime in the late fall or winter when they have earlier presentations of all the fireworks shows.

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Originally Posted by momof3cuteboys View Post
Awesome updates. I wanted to try and see fantasmic on my next trip but really don't want to be out that late with my 4 yr old, so I'm not sure what we'll do but at least I don't feel like I'll be missing out if we don't make it.
This year, we took the approach that if it was convenient for us to see Fantasmic during the trip, we would try it, but we were not going to move heaven and earth to get there. The boys pretty much hit the sack by 8:30 every night, which worked perfectly for getting them up at 6 or 6:30 in the morning to hit the parks for EMH.
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Old 09-01-2010, 08:59 AM   #137
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Too funny about the dance/fall. Have you posted that on the Embarassing Moments thread?

I don't understand why the reserved seating for Fantasmic isn't in the center?
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:05 PM   #138
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Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
There are many many reasons we love the Beach Club: Stormalong Bay, the beachy decor, comfy beds, beautiful grounds, Teena and the other outstanding CMs, great places to eat. But the thing we love most about it is how easy it is to get to and from EPCOT.

The past two years we have stayed there, I have watched Illuminations 5 times and I have made several treks over to the World Showcase to get some terrific takeout from Japan, Morocco or France.

Thanks for the kind words about the photos and about my 4 park accomplishment. I am very proud of that!


Enjoying your TR immensely! Our last trip was 2008, and we are positively JONESIN' for another WDW trip, but we're in the middle of an international adoption, so it will be a while!

We were ALL set on renting DVC points & staying at AKV next time around... but with all this talk of BC, I'm wavering. Truthfully, BC has never been one of the resorts that got me all excited...but reading about how easy it is to get to EPCOT has me thinking. Hmmmm.... Last time we stayed at VWL, and LOVED how easy it was to take the boat to MK. And we love us some World Showcase, so the prospect of getting there so easily is pretty tempting. Hmmm..... I may have some thinking to do!
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Old 09-01-2010, 02:32 PM   #139
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Enjoying your TR immensely! Our last trip was 2008, and we are positively JONESIN' for another WDW trip, but we're in the middle of an international adoption, so it will be a while!

We were ALL set on renting DVC points & staying at AKV next time around... but with all this talk of BC, I'm wavering. Truthfully, BC has never been one of the resorts that got me all excited...but reading about how easy it is to get to EPCOT has me thinking. Hmmmm.... Last time we stayed at VWL, and LOVED how easy it was to take the boat to MK. And we love us some World Showcase, so the prospect of getting there so easily is pretty tempting. Hmmm..... I may have some thinking to do!
Hi Ashley!!! Welcome!

I am so glad you are enjoying the report!

Best of luck with your adoption plans. I have friends and relatives who have adopted from Kenya and Russia and I know that there is a lot of work involved and it can be quite a rollercoaster. I hope it happens soon for you!

I am very biased to the BC, but all I can say is location, location, location! It is ridiculously easy to get to EPCOT, taking the monorail back from MK and walking through EPCOT to get back to the room is great in the afternoon/evening and Hollywood Studios is very convenient. I love that you can walk easily to one park and with a little more commitment, to HS.

And the pool is fantastic for all ages!

There will be lots more Beach Club stuff coming up soon. I'm ALMOST at 2010!


Quote:
Originally Posted by jmskinner View Post
Too funny about the dance/fall. Have you posted that on the Embarassing Moments thread?

I don't understand why the reserved seating for Fantasmic isn't in the center?
Oh, I forgot about the embarassing moments thread!!! I'm sure Nate would LOVE it if I shared this story with more people!

It would be great if the guaranteed F! seating was in the center, but they certainly don't need it to market the dinner packages. I think they sell out pretty quickly.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:09 PM   #140
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Originally Posted by natebenma View Post
It would be great if the guaranteed F! seating was in the center, but they certainly don't need it to market the dinner packages. I think they sell out pretty quickly.
True, but what I like about the F! seating section is that you are actually close to the exit - I think it gives an advantage when exiting if you're relying on the Disney bus. Well, the friendship boats too since they only hold so many at a time
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:23 PM   #141
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True, but what I like about the F! seating section is that you are actually close to the exit - I think it gives an advantage when exiting if you're relying on the Disney bus. Well, the friendship boats too since they only hold so many at a time
Well, fear of the friendship boats being too full IS what prompted us to walk back to the BC that night, ending in a memorable entrance for one of our group.
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:45 PM   #142
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Dude! (Warning:This post contains startling revelations about Tinkerbell)

Have you seen this picture occasionally posted by Robo in the Theme Park forum?



I found this shortly before the trip and I shared it with Nate. It was our little secret. Every time Tink was mentioned or shown, my son and I would look at each other and knowingly whisper or mouth “Tinkerbell’s a dude!” or “Dude”. This was the perfect humor for an 11 year old boy and was one of the few times during the trip that he would smile or laugh. Don’t get me wrong- he had a great time on the trip, but if you have kids in the preteen/teen age bracket, you KWIM!
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:51 PM   #143
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Never say Never

All in all, we had a fabulous trip! Great weather. Low crowds. Super room at the Beach Club. Great meals. Everyone was healthy. This trip was everything that the 2008 Fayecation wasn’t. So great, in fact, that we didn’t plan on returning to Disney right away since we couldn't imagine having a trip that was as perfect as this one.

We don’t really intend to go to Disney EVERY year.

Plus, we still have Mark’s concerns about travelling to Florida in the summertime.

Will they or won't they go again???

Cue Suspense Music: Dun Dun Dunnnnnn



A Cliffhanger!!!

NOT!!!

You all already know we went again in July 2010.

Here’s how it happened. (Coming Soon)
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:53 PM   #144
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Hi Dee!
I'm finally trying to get caught up with you! Love you TR.

Amanda
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Old 09-01-2010, 06:59 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by DrMomof3 View Post
Hi Dee!
I'm finally trying to get caught up with you! Love you TR.

Amanda
Hi Amanda! And where have YOU been??? Oh yeah, a little trip...

Welcome back!

Dee
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Old 09-02-2010, 08:52 PM   #146
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Love your TR so far. We'll be going to BCV on Oct 9th for the first time and we can't wait !!
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Old 09-03-2010, 06:44 AM   #147
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Hi MickManiac!

Welcome! I am so glad you are enjoying the report. I am sure you will love BCV. The location of the Beach Club resort is unbelievably convenient!
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:38 PM   #149
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2010: Pre-trip Prelims

When we left off, my family had returned home from our second summer trip to Disney in two years.

Now, as a self-respecting, card-carrying member of the obsessive planners club, I of course have an outline of our travel plans for the next year or so. We like to take a winter vacation, during the boys February school break. It really helps to get through a New England winter knowing we have plans to go somewhere tropical. We also want to take the boys to Washington, DC. The boys are a great age for this, there is so much to see and do there. Ben loves history, so he would be blown away by the sights. We want to return to Atlantis in the Bahamas. To paraphrase one of Stacey’s RNR quotes “Awesome Aquarium! Mega-WaterPark! Hellloooooo!” And Mark and I will celebrate our 25th anniversary next summer. We really haven’t been away without the boys, so a getaway in early December 2011 or January 2012 would be great.

So here is how the plan looked:

February 2010 Barcelo Beach, Rivera Maya, Mexico (booked)

February 2011- Somewhere tropical.

April 2011- Washington DC

January 2012- 25th Anniversary Trip. Where??? St. John, USVI? St. Lucia? Hawaii?

February or April 2012- Atlantis

There’s no Disney in the two-year plan.

“PINned” into action by Disney
Then, at the beginning of January, in the heart of a New England winter, it appeared in my in-box. My first-ever PIN from Disney, offering 40% off on a stay at our beloved Beach Club. When Mark came home from work, I told him what I received. His response “You shouldn’t tell me about this if you don’t intend on booking it!” So we priced out the room.

Checked into airfare. The last two years, we used the same Delta Flights:
Arrival: 7 AM-10:30 AM, Boston to Orlando
Departure: 11:30 AM-2:30 PM, Orlando to Boston

We love the morning arrival flight, early is not a problem for us and this flight has us walking through the gates of MK around 12:30 or 1 on our arrival day. The return flight is not so great though. Since ME picks you up from your resort 3 hours before your flight out, the last morning consists of a quick, stressful breakfast and not much else.

So for our return home, we found a non-stop Airtran flight leaving Orlando at 2:30 and arriving in Boston around 5:30. And it was less expensive than the Delta morning flight. Booked!

Air-Trash Can
As the weeks and months went on, we received a number of e-mails from AirTran. Changes in our flight. At first, the changes were not significant. Orlando to Boston, 2 PM to 5 PM. Ok, that’s fine. The next change, however was a killer. Our non-stop flight had been cancelled. We were now scheduled to fly from Orlando to ATLANTA, 12:30 to 2 PM, then Atlanta to Boston, 2:35 to 5:15. ICK!!! And only 30 minutes to change planes in Atlanta. The final blow came in June. Bye Bye to our leisurely morning and the Cape May breakfast we had scheduled for our last day. Our departure flight was now scheduled to leave Orlando at 11:30, arrive in Atlanta at 1:00, leave Atlanta at 2:30 (at least we now have 1 ½ hours to change planes) and arrive home in Boston at 5 PM.

Lesson learned here- we should have stuck with the Delta return flight, which left at the same time as our final AirTran itinerary, and arrived in Boston 2 ½ hours earlier!

180 days out- Regular Dining Plan
I’m not sure who posted this originally, but my favorite quote from the DISBoards is:
“I don’t know what I’m having for dinner tonight, but I know what I am having 180 days from now!”

We booked our trip in the nick of time, about a week before the window opened to make our dining reservations. I checked park hours, made preliminary plans, and picked out where we should eat.

I decided to try the online reservation for the first time. I got all of the restaurants within minutes of the times I wanted:

Saturday, arrival dinner- Captain’s Grille (first time) at the Yacht Club, 6 PM- a nice quiet meal right in our resort!
Sunday- TRex at Downtown Disney, 6 PM (out of pocket)
Monday-Sci-Fi Dine-In, lunch, 12 noon
Tuesday- Le Cellier, 6:05 PM
Wednesday- Boma, 5 PM
Thursday- Kona Café, 11 AM (late breakfast after EMH at MK)
Thursday-Cape May Café Clambake, 6 PM
Friday- Ohana (first time), 6:20 PM
Saturday morning- breakfast at Cape May, 7:30. This ended up being a casualty of our AirTran reschedule.

I was thrilled with our dining plans! The Captain’s Grille and Ohana were both new restaurants for our family.

My pride at these ressies was reinforced when we checked in to our room at the BC and the Concierge CM looked over our dining plans and said “Wow, you got some good ones! We can’t get reservations like that!”

Photopass pre-order
In 2008, one of Ben’s classmates was having a Grand Gathering trip that overlapped with our vacation. I proposed a photopass share, so we split the cost of the CD that year. In 2009, my cousin Jen and her family had a trip at the end of June, a couple of weeks before our trip. At that time, I was able to pre-order the CD for $99, plus a DISer had posted a code for an additional $15 off, so once again, we each saved big bucks on the photopass CD.
This year, one of my neighbors took her family to WDW for the first time, a week before our trip, so once again, we shared the cost of a CD.

Don’t you just love a bargain!


Pre-trip Camera Catastophe

In February, we traveled to Mexico during the boys school vacation. In addition to Mark, Nate and Ben, my trusty Olympus Stylus 1030 SW was my constant companion. Here are a couple of photos from this trip.











The last day of our trip saw pretty rough weather. Overcast, some rain, rough surf. Well, Mark and I really didn’t get out snorkeling as much as we wanted to on this trip, so I decided to push it and go out one more time. I didn’t get very far. Conditions were horrible, waves were crashing and sand was blowing everywhere. Within 30 minutes of leaving the water, my camera died. Water must have gotten through the seal somehow. Fortunately, it was the last day of our trip, and I still had my sons’ cameras as backups for our last few hours.
I think I got the Olympus right before the August 2008 trip to Disney. It had been through Tropical Storm Faye. It performed admirably at Atlantis, Blizzard Beach, Typhoon Lagoon and the beach. It had taken THOUSANDS of pictures. RIP.

In March, I ordered a new camera. Satisfied with my Olympus, I decided to replace it with the same camera. The new model offered was the Olympus Stylus Tough 8000. I ordered it online and used it for the next few months, but I had not tested the waterproof feature yet. On the last day of school in mid-June, I hosted a pool party and finally tested the camera in the water. The first few pictures were great. Then the lens fogged over! Apparently, the camera did not like the change in temperature from the heat to the cool of the pool. After a couple of days, I called Olympus. And here is what they told me to do.

“Put the camera in a Ziplock Bag. Get as much air out as you can, making a vacuum. Leave the camera overnight to see if the lens clears”.

The lens did clear. So the next day I took it to an outing to a fun park with my boys- lazer tag, go carts, mini-golf. Again, when I took the camera from the airconditioning out into the heat of the day, the lens fogged up.

At this point, it is less than a month from my trip and I have no confidence in my camera!

I did some research and decided to try a different camera, the Canon D10. This camera was also rated for underwater use to 33 feet. It is a little bulkier than the Olympus cameras, so it doesn’t fit as conveniently in my pocket. And the panoramic stitching in the camera is not as easy. But I have been thrilled with the photos from the Canon, and so far, so good with my underwater pics.

That’s it for pretrip planning- next up: The trip!
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Old 09-04-2010, 06:56 PM   #150
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Preview of Coming Attractions

Arrival Day
Back to the Beach

My DH and I saw fireworks in our room. Again and Again (Don't worry, this is posted is rated G)

Day 2
Givin’ it up for Mission Space Orange (Warning: Graphic update not for the faint of stomach)


Saving the world at 9 years of age~ That’s gonna look good on the resume!

We Soar 3 times!

Dining with Dinos

Day 3
A Former Packmule Lightens Up

Birth of a Rollercoaster Junkie

Day 4
Double Triple Mountain Whammy!

Extra Magic Hours Rock!

Day 5
All in a Day’s Play: Animal Kingdom- Blizzard Beach- Boma- Hollywood Studios- walk back to the Beach Club- And...

Just under the wire for the Back Lot Tour

Racing the HS-BC boat. Part II.

Day 6
I promise the boys 3 Mountains and an Island. By 11 am. Can I deliver?

Racing a Tourgroup to Splash Mtn

Racing a Storm

Day 7
Toy Story Mania, 4 times by noon!

Rubbing Elbows with Stormtroopers

No Brulee for you!

Typhoon Lagoon/MK split up

A spectacular, solitary finale
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